As computer-use propagates across the battlefield, the necessity to effectively integrate such system components
challenges the system developer to find a balance between added functionality and system usability. The most
significant challenge is ruggedizing and integrating these technologies in an acceptable manner that does not impede the
users' combat capability, but instead significantly enhances it . In this paper, researchers at the Air Force Research
Laboratory's Battlespace Acoustics Branch explored alternative Head Mounted Display (HMD) concepts, investigating
field of view as well as ease of use concerns. Special Operations personnel prosecute mission objectives in dynamic
environments requiring an agile integration solution that is equally accommodating. This report describes the research
process as well as the unique concerns and results of integrating tactical HMDs for special operation forces. Issues
involving variable use-cases, as well as cable management are also addressed.
The innovative technology utilized in the Scorpion HMCS has broken several product and price barriers which now
allow it to be used in both traditional and non-traditional applications. In particular, its bright color display provides
a new dimension for informational content and vastly improved situational awareness. Users are just beginning to
explore the ways that color can be used in an HMD projection display. Scorpion has also broken through price and
installation cost barriers allowing, for the first time, its use on platforms that could otherwise never have afforded a
helmet mounted display. Scorpion HMCS units are currently being used for both traditional cueing as well as
unique new applications in both airborne and maritime platforms. These applications are further described as well
as other potential roles for the Scorpion HMCS.
Next generation night vision helmet mounted displays (HMDs) are expected to have higher resolution, larger field of
view and lower costs. These HMDs will be expected to provide real world images at starlight overcast with minimal
scintillation, improved dynamic range and symbology. VSI is developing a series of HMDs that will meet this demand
and will provide an overview of the capabilities in this paper. We will address the requirements and design conflicts
associated with the development of an all digital system. Finally, we will provide insight into the capability of an "all"
digital system and its potential future.
SA Photonics and Vision Systems International (VSI) are developing an innovative wide field of view digital night
vision head mounted display (HMD). This HMD has an 80 degree field of view and has been designed to minimize
weight, peripheral obscuration and forward projection. Digital night vision sensors enable electronic image enhancement
and VSI's Zero A/C Integration enables the HMD to be integrated with legacy aircraft and provide symbology overlay
and recording without the need for an expensive drive electronics box.
Commercial, forensic, and military divers often encounter turbid conditions which reduce visibility to zero. Under such
conditions, work must be performed completely blind. The darkness resulting from high levels of turbidity is complete,
and can be dangerous as well as disorienting. Such darkness can even occur near the surface on a bright and sunny day.
Artificial underwater lighting is of no use in such situations, as it only makes matters worse (similar to the use of high
beam headlights in dense fog). Certain wavelengths of infrared (IR) light have the ability to penetrate this underwater
"fog," and thus form the basis of the current development. Turbidity results from clay, silt, finely divided organic and
inorganic matter, soluble colored organic compounds, plankton and microscopic organisms suspended in water. The IR
Diver Vision system described herein consists of a standard commercial diving mask of any of several configurations
whereby an IR light source, IR video camera, video display, and power source may be integrated within or attached to
the mask. The IR light source wavelength is compatible with the spectral bandwidth of the video camera. The camera
field-of-view (FOV) is matched to the video display in order to provide a unity magnification and hence prevent diver
ocular fatigue. The IR video camera, video display, power source and controls are compatible with extended use in a
submarine environment. Some such masks will incorporate tilt/heading sensors and video indicators. 3-D Imaging, Inc.
has developed prototypes and has patents pending on such devices.
There is a need for variable transmission technology for Goggles, Spectacles, and visors for Helmet-Mounted Displays
(HMDs). At present, most HMD's do not allow the pilot to control the transmission level of a flight visor while
transitioning from high to low light levels throughout flight. Sunglasses are often used for non-HMD conditions but
become impractical for HMD use. For individuals moving from high to low brightness levels, momentary blindness is an
issue in both recreational sports and military applications. A
user-controlled or automatically controllable variabletransmittance
lens is a possible solution. The Eclipse Visible Electrochromic Device (EclipseECDTM) is well suited for
these light modulation applications. The EclipseECDTM modulates light intensity by changing the absorption level under
an applied electric field. The optical density may be continuously changed by varying voltage allowing for analog
instead of digital (on/off) light levels. EclipseECDTM is comprised of vacuum deposited layers of a transparent bottom
electrode, an active element, and a transparent top electrode, incorporating an all, solid-state electrolyte. The solid-state
electrolyte eliminates possible complications associated with
gel-based or liquid crystal based technologies including
lamination, and precludes the need for additional visor modifications. This all solid-state ECD system can be deposited
on flexible substrates, eg. PET, PC, etc. The low-temperature deposition process enables direct application to polymer
lenses and HMD flight visors. Additionally, the coating is easily manufactured; can be trimmed, has near spectral
neutrality and fails in the clear (bleached) condition.
The US Army and eMagin Corporation established a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to
characterize the ongoing improvements in the lifetime of OLED displays. This CRADA also called for the evaluation of
OLED performance as the need arises, especially when new products are developed or when a previously untested
parameter needs to be understood. In 2006, eMagin Corporation developed long-life OLED-XLTM devices for use in
their AMOLED microdisplays for head-worn applications. Through Research and Development programs from 2007 to
2009 with the US Government, eMagin made additional improvements in OLED life and developed the first SXGA
(1280 × 1024 triad pixels) OLED microdisplay. US Army RDECOM CERDEC NVESD conducted life and
performance tests on these displays, publishing results at the 2007, 2008, and 2009 SPIE Defense and Security
Symposia1,2,3. Life and performance tests have continued through 2009, and this data will be presented along with a
recap of previous data. This should result in a better understanding of the applicability of AMOLEDs in military and
commercial head mounted systems: where good fits are made, and where further development might be desirable.
We resented a new approach for Optical HMT (Head Motion Tracker) past years (Proc. SPIE 6955, 69550A, 2008, Proc.
SPIE 7326, 732607/73260L, 2009) -. In existing Magnetic HMT, it is inevitable to conduct pre-mapping in order to
obtain sufficient accuracy because of magnetic field's distortion caused by metallic material around HMT, such as
cockpit and helmet. Optical HMT is commonly known as mapping-free tracker; however, it has some disadvantages on
accuracy, stability against sunlight conditions, in terms of comparison with Magnetic HMT. We had succeeded to
develop new Optical HMT, which can overcome particular disadvantages by integration with two area cameras, LED
markers, image processing techniques and inertial sensors with simple algorithm in laboratory level environment (2007).
We have also reported some experimental results conducted in flight test, which proves good accuracy even in the
sunlight condition (2008).
Shimadzu Corp. and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) are conducting joint research named SAVERH
(Situation Awareness and Visual Enhancer for Rescue Helicopter)
- that aims at inventing method of presenting
suitable information to the pilot to support search and rescue missions by helicopters. The Optical HMT has been
evaluated through a series of flight evaluation in SAVERH and demonstrated the operation concept. Through 16 flights
including night flights, the potential capability of the system was demonstrated and issues for further improvement were
This paper addresses the human component of the human-machine interface and the effects of operational stressors on
the user as a system operator. Discussions will strive to link operational stress factors to perception, cognition, and
human performance errors and their implications for the design of helmet-mounted displays (HMDs). While many
operational stressors can be self-imposed (e.g., fatigue, medication use and smoking), this discussion will focus on
environment-related (external) stressors. Generally these factors are characteristics of an environment that require unique
countermeasure development versus being under the direct control of the user. These include altitude, noise, vibration,
thermal extremes and ambient lighting. Thus, it becomes incumbent upon the HMD designers to be cognizant of these
environmental stressors and understand how the Soldier will perform when exposed to these conditions.
Helmet-mounted displays (HMDs) are designed as a tool to increase performance. To achieve this, there must be an
accurate transfer of information from the HMD to the user. Ideally, an HMD would be designed to accommodate the
abilities and limitations of users' cognitive processes. It is not enough for the information (whether visual, auditory, or
tactual) to be displayed; the information must be perceived, attended, remembered, and organized in a way that guides
appropriate decision-making, judgment, and action. Following a general overview, specific subtopics of cognition,
including perception, attention, memory, knowledge, decision-making, and problem solving are explored within the
context of HMDs.
One of our previous studies examining the integration of a
head-mounted visual display with a faceted flight simulator
display showed that a monocular condition was the most uncomfortable and it also resulted in poorer operator
performance. In the present study, we investigated whether this reduction in performance was dependent on eye
dominance and whether it could be reduced or eliminated through training. Our performance measure was the amount of
time it took operators to make correct decisions on a simplified targeting task using a see-through monocular headmounted
display and a large-screen display upon which was presented an
out-the-window view of a desert scene. A
binocular on-screen viewing condition served as baseline. The results revealed that response time significantly decreased
with training but that eye dominance did not exert a significant effect. These results are interpreted within the context of
training regimes for using HMDs with sparse symbology.
Future military aviation platforms such as the proposed Joint Strike Fighter F-35 will integrate helmet mounted displays
(HMDs) with the avionics and weapon systems to the degree that the HMDs will become the aircraft's primary display
system. In turn, training of pilot flight skills using HMDs will be essential in future training systems. In order to train
these skills using simulation based training, improvements must be made in the integration of HMDs with out-thewindow
(OTW) simulations. Currently, problems such as latency contribute to the onset of simulator sickness and
provide distractions during training with HMD simulator systems that degrade the training experience. Previous research
has used Kalman predictive filters as a means of mitigating the system latency present in these systems. While this
approach has yielded some success, more work is needed to develop innovative and improved strategies that reduce
system latency as well as to include data collected from the user perspective as a measured variable during test and
evaluation of latency reduction strategies. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, the paper describes a new method
to measure and assess system latency from the user perspective. Second, the paper describes use of the testbed to
examine the efficacy of an innovative strategy that combines a customized Kalman filter with a neural network approach
to mitigate system latency. Results indicate that the combined approach reduced system latency significantly when
compared to baseline data and the traditional Kalman filter. Reduced latency errors should mitigate the onset of
simulator sickness and ease simulator sickness symptomology. Implications for training systems will be discussed.
In 1973, the U.S. Army adopted night vision devices for use in the aviation environment. These devices are based on the
principle of image intensification (I2) and have become the mainstay for the aviator's capability to operate during
periods of low illumination, i.e., at night. In the nearly four decades that have followed, a number of engineering
advancements have significantly improved the performance of these devices. The current version, using 3rd generation I2
technology is known as the Aviator's Night Vision Imaging System (ANVIS). While considerable experience with
performance has been gained during training and peacetime operations, no previous studies have looked at user
acceptability and performance issues in a combat environment. This study was designed to compare Army Aircrew
experiences in a combat environment to currently available information in the published literature (all peacetime
laboratory and field training studies) and to determine if the latter is valid. The purpose of this study was to identify and
assess aircrew satisfaction with the ANVIS and any visual performance issues or problems relating to its use in
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The study consisted of an anonymous survey (based on previous validated surveys
used in the laboratory and training environments) of 86 Aircrew members (64% Rated and 36% Non-rated) of an
Aviation Task Force approximately 6 months into their OEF deployment. This group represents an aggregate of >94,000
flight hours of which ~22,000 are ANVIS and ~16,000 during this deployment. Overall user acceptability of ANVIS in a
combat environment will be discussed.
The output brightness temporal response of non-gated image intensifying systems was examined. Generation III gallium
arsenide image intensifiers (image tubes) using the P43 and P20 phosphors were tested for image persistence, minimum
event detection, and minimum event temporal separation (multiple burst testing, where "event" refers to a burst of light
of determined duration and brightness). Persistence tests showed some correlation with previously published data and
suggest that both phosphors (P43 and P20) display multiple stages of decay. The minimum event detection tests showed
the Generation III Image Intensifier tubes capable of detecting pulses with durations in the low microsecond region and
suggested that for faster test setups the tubes may have the capability to operate in the nanosecond region. Finally, the
multiple burst testing shows the complex temporal nature of image tube power supplies when encountering multiple,
rapid flashes of light.
Applied Research Associates and BAE Systems are working together to develop a wearable augmented reality system
under the DARPA ULTRA-Vis program†. Our approach to achieve the objectives of ULTRAVis, called iLeader,
incorporates a full color 40° field of view (FOV) see-thru holographic waveguide integrated with sensors for full
position and head tracking to provide an unobtrusive information system for operational maneuvers. iLeader will enable
warfighters to mark-up the 3D battle-space with symbologic identification of graphical control measures, friendly force
positions and enemy/target locations. Our augmented reality display provides dynamic real-time painting of symbols on
real objects, a pose-sensitive 360° representation of relevant object positions, and visual feedback for a variety of system
activities. The iLeader user interface and situational awareness graphical representations are highly intuitive, nondisruptive,
and always tactically relevant.
We used best human-factors practices, system engineering expertise, and cognitive task analysis to design effective
strategies for presenting real-time situational awareness to the military user without distorting their natural senses and
perception. We present requirements identified for presenting information within a see-through display in combat
environments, challenges in designing suitable visualization capabilities, and solutions that enable us to bring real-time
iconic command and control to the tactical user community.
This paper describes a Helmet Mounted display (HMD) based on an augmented reality system applied to car
technologies, which is considered as a Head Up display (HUD), using the MAPLE ® software to analyze the system
stability during specific environments in order to understand how the optic parameters are affected by the surrounding
conditions. The objective of this paper is segmented into two parts, the first one is the recognition of many different
optic parameters involved in such systems, which are analyzed using the mixing of a mathematical model and some
measurement systems, where the principal idea was to describe the ratios between both aspects; and the second one is
the comprehension of how all those parameters are related with the human perception; I found that parameters like
FOV(Field Of View), eye relief and MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) are directly related with the image size, and
contrast threshold, additionally I conclude that the effectiveness of the system is determinate by the optic elements used
and the system array of lens, finally I found some lens structure that could reduce the aberration amounts present in this
kind of systems; all these considerations are focused on the developing of a car gadget, but the application of this
knowledge is unlimited in optic systems.